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Biography #2

Ronnie James Dio is a Heavy Metal vocalist who has performed with Black Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, and his own band Dio. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser Hear 'n Aid and his band immediately before Rainbow, Elf. Ronnie James Dio is best well known for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the 'horns' hand gesture in heavy metal subculture (formed by closing the thumb over the middle and ring fingers, while having the index and little-finger extended). Ronnie said that his grandmother used to make the hand gesture when she was mad. Her way of pointing.

Ronnie was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and raised in Cortland, New York. He initially played trumpet and even recorded albums with various Rockabilly bands while still a teen, as early as 1958. By the early 1970s, he had formed the band Elf, who got to be an opening act for Deep Purple. Ronnie's vocals caught the ear of Deep Purple guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore, who then left the band but recruited Ronnie and other members of Elf to form Rainbow. After a few albums with Rainbow, Ronnie left the band due to creative differences (Blackmore had wanted to take the band in a more commercial direction), and then made his way into Black Sabbath in 1979 to replace the recently fired Ozzy Osbourne. (This has led many fans to pair Ozzy and Ronnie as rivals, not unlike the Roth/Hagar bickering of many Van Halen fans.) Ronnie gave a new jumpstart to Black Sabbath's sagging career, but internal conflicts and unfounded rumors led both Ronnie and drummer Vinnie Appice to leave Black Sabbath and form Dio. Ronnie James Dio currently lives in California, still recording and touring worldwide with Dio.

Article text released under CC-BY-SA. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ronnie James Dio" (21-Apr-2005)